Why should I publish my data?
There are several reasons why a researcher should consider publishing their data. With the crisis of reproducibility, data sharing can reduce the need for duplication of experiments in the scientific community. If you publish your data, others can review your data, research methods, and analysis in detail, and possibly provide new fields of research. However, data sharing is not only good for science- it is good for society as a whole. When your data is publicly available, it can also be used to guide government policies. Moreover, researchers outside the university can have access to them.
Also, when you allow other researchers to use your work data, you save on additional costs. Finally, if the data is public, it can increase the citation of your work. By publishing your data in a journal or repository, you can provide a means for others to properly cite your data and give your work the credibility it deserves.
Where can I publish my data?
As mentioned above, there are two main ways to publish data: in repositories or data journals. Repositories are a more traditional place for researchers to publish their data. A repository is usually limited to a university or research institute. If you are not a member of that institution, you cannot easily access the data inside it. Many repositories charge researchers for access to data. There are some free data repositories, such as the European Open Science Cloud, that do not require a fee.
However, these days, data journals are becoming more and more popular. What are the advantages of data journals and how do they differ from data repositories? You can think of a data journal as a bridge to repositories. Many researchers first publish their papers and then put their data in repositories, but finding this data is often not easy unless you are looking for a specific piece of data. The purpose of data journals is to make it easier to find databases while improving publication and citation. In data journals, short data of articles are published and linked to repositories for complete information. Most journals have a standardized form that makes it easy for authors to understand and present data. Data journals can be indexed in databases of important medical journals, such as MEDLINE, which means that they can have a journal impact factor like regular academic journals.
Currently, some well-known data journals include Data in Brief (Elsevier), Open Health Data (Ubiquity Press), Genomics Data (Elsevier), Scientific Data (Nature), and GigaScience (BMC). As the popularity and number of these journals grow, catalogs of data journals become more accessible. The Thomson Reuters Data Citation Index tracks data citation criteria to reward researchers who choose to publish in data journals. Which data journal is right for you will, of course, depend on your field of work and the type of data you intend to exchange. However, sharing data has the advantage of increasing the citation count of your work.
Data journals: Increase data access
Overall, data journals have made publishing data easier and more accessible to researchers. In this way, they help to change the previous culture where data exchange was not common and citations were less. If you are performing original research, sharing your data can be a great way to increase your visibility in your field and contribute to a data-sharing culture. This could eventually lead to the promotion of science around the world.